Address by President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, at the opening session of the Romania-France Season
14:05 | 27 November 2018
President of Romania, Mr Klaus Iohannis, on Tuesday, 27th November 2018, at the Georges-Pompidou Art and Culture Centre in Paris, delivered an address at the opening session of the Romania-France Season.
The translated transcript of the address is displayed below:
„Your Excellency Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic,
Esteemed Mrs Macron,
Mr President Serge Lasvignes,
Mr Bernard Blistene,
Mr Pierre Buhler,
Messrs Jean Jacques Garnier and Andrei Ţărnea, Commissioners General of Romania-France Season,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am extremely pleased to take part in the official opening session of the France-Romania Season, in this symbolic venue of modernity, the Georges Pompidou Centre.
Mr President, we, here, are celebrating the very common history of ours and the privileged relation between our countries, which we are saluting by the series of events starting today.
I thank our hosts and I congratulate the two caretaking teams, from France and from Romania, for having organised this remarkable and relevant moment. The more as, in the nearby, down the Pompidou Centre, Constantin Brâncuși’s workshop is exhibited, where one can fully understand the connection between the Romanians and the French, irrefutably proved by the cultural treasury the two nations have offered to humankind.
Romania-France Season was born full of our common heritage of ideals and aspirations and proposes a generous and inclusive project, open to ideas through dialogue.
During the next six months we will enjoy a festival of the memories that link us together, as well as a forum of contemporary creativity, of innovation and entrepreneurship and I invite the Romanians and the French to rejoice at these events together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is impossible to disregard the role the ideas of the French Enlightenment and the direct influence by the French statesmen played for the birth of the modern united Romania.
Furthermore, it is impossible to argue over the influence the French civilisation imprinted on the Romanian literature, visual arts, architecture, as well as on our lifestyle and our aspirations. Equally, to argue over the extremely strong influence by some Romanian eminent creators upon the French culture. The Romania-France Cultural Season aims at reaping the benefits of this very close Romanian-French connection.
It is certain that France has had an influence over many cultures. Yet nowhere else France has found a closer connection and a higher compatibility than it has found in Romania. During the 19th century, Romania and its elites adopted French models to build a society that, while leaving the East apart, considered France as the source of inspiration and the chance to modernise itself like in the West. We will find it hard to identify a relevant field with this influence not having been manifested.
The France-Romania Cultural Season aims at paying tribute to this reality, at the same time at daring today’s generations of creators to reload new meanings to the dynamic of exchange between the two cultures, including through an authentic, sincere and topical discourse that we, the ones and the others, are in need at present.
Therefore, we wish to find the youth taking part in as many as possible events to take place in France and in Romania, starting from today till 14 July 2019.
In only three days’ time, Romania is celebrating its Centenary. A century ago, the Romanians gathered around universal humanist values and democratic ideals widely spread across the Western world by France. Through its messengers to Romania, many of them giving their lives in service, France proved to be an ally and a model.
Today we are celebrating a common history, including through this programme starting in Paris. It is not a conjuncture that we are here today, in that country where we achieved international recognition of our Great Union. It was an ideal achieved through sacrifice and vision serving national unity, as well as a peaceful Europe.
Consequently, it is a privilege and joy to share our commitment with France for a project that bonds our countries again: the European Union.
In only one month’s time, Romania takes over the Presidency of the European Union Council, for the first time. We intend that, during this period, Romania and France will celebrate the values the European Union is grounded in, through a wide-scope joint cultural project. The Season will reaffirm our belief in the viability of taking benefit from diversity in a common European spirit and through a shared European future.
The motto of the Romanian Revolution in 1848, adapted by the Romanian students living in Paris from the one of the French Revolution, was „Justice and Brotherhood”. 170 years after that moment, we remember these catchwords, which have been merged into our common heritage of values and commitments.
By promoting the cultural dialogue, we can just defend our Europe of ideas, of values and of freedoms, and oppose it to hatred, intolerance and populism. By firmly rejecting internal splits and toxic ideologies we will be able to enjoy a Europe where the manifestation of freedom can be found not only in museums, theatres and galleries, but also in society.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relation between Romania and France in culture is special by the particular way our traditions are brought into modernity and are expressed by the creators through a universal discourse.
The Season will prove our nations are much entitled to invest in culture and creativity, to seek for new platforms for cultural dialogue on which to build their European future. Thank you very much!”